Image lifted from this review.
After finishing quite a heavy book, I was looking for something pretty light to read just on the way to work or when I have 5 minutes to kill in the evenings. Amazon had been pushing Japan Took The JAP Out Of Me at me for ages, because I like reading books about Japan, be it fiction or non-fiction.
In this sense, JAP means Jewish American Princess. I hate that she used it as a pun, as I really hate the word “Jap”. The memoir is of Lisa, who after marrying the lovely Peter, moved to Nagoya, Japan while he worked as an English teacher. As I lived in Nagoya I thought this would be pretty cool, and I’d like to see the place through someone else’s eyes.
Slight spoiler – this book is 97% Lisa’s racist bitching about Japan and 3% her realising that she just might be a terrible person. While I have done my fair share of complaining about Japan, Lisa takes it to the extreme. Things like “the taxi smelt like foreign”, “when they stare at me, there is not love in their eyes” and complaining that the school’s assembly wasn’t in English for her sake… really made me mad.
Not only that, but she was a high school teacher in America before she left, and yet she has very explicit details about her love life with her husband – not to mention frequent accounts of her adventures with mild drugs. If I was her student I’d be pretty embarrassed. If you’re writing a book about your life in Japan, I don’t want to know about your sex life, nor is it important to know that you smoke pot with your best friend. These things are not important.
I really worry that people wanting to go live in Japan will pick up this book and then make decisions based on her terrible bitching. I really hope this is not the case.
Though I enjoyed the rare “oooh I know that train station!” or “I know exactly the shop you’re talking about!” moments, this book is drekitude to the extreme and I urge you all to avoid it unless you like pain.
There really isn’t much more to say about this without giving bigger spoilers. If you happen to have read this train wreck, please let me know what you thought of it!